This is part two of a three part series.
There are many aspects to being healthy. You may achieve great success in one dimension and still suffer in another. For example, a woman might be very “healthy” in appearances; she exercises, drinks water and eats salad everyday. BUT, she might have numerous mental struggles. They cause her to suffer from so much stress that her heart health may be in danger. If she should have a heart attack, everyone would be surprised, because she seemed so healthy. We forget that our health isn’t just physical. Our body, our mind and our surroundings all impact how we feel. All of these things are interconnected. What are the many paths to greater health? Here are the top three that I tend to focus on.
Have you heard the expression, “We are our own worst enemy”? It is so true. If you are broke, you can earn more money. If you are sick, you can get well. If you are in an unsafe environment, you can leave. But, if you are fighting demons that are in your head…that is a tough one. You can’t just run away. You can’t make them go away. You have to actually deal with what’s going on up there.
If you don’t face and deal with the issues that your mind is hanging on to, you will eventually suffer the consequences. Some of those issues, not only won’t go away, but can manifest into something even bigger.
So, let’s say that you are suffering from some light social anxiety. Now, you don’t think it is important enough to address, so you go on day by day. First, you avoid going out with your friends because the crowd was going to be too big. A few weeks later, you cop out from that work dinner because you just weren’t sure what to say to your boss. And this week, you missed the gym because “people were there”. Soon, the groceries get delivered and you find you haven’t left the house except for work. This is now getting slightly out of control and needs addressed soon.
If left untreated for long, it grows. It soon becomes something that takes over your life. You begin to make decisions AROUND your anxiety or (insert your favorite issue here). And then, your body starts to suffer. Let’s add in some chronic pain, ulcers, obesity and gastroinestinal disorders, etc. Whew.
Instead, take care of your mental health. Your mind can be your biggest ally in the quest for health. Trust me on this. It is actually one of the first tools you have to improve your health. You hear people say those little cliche’s all the time.
- Attitude is everything
- Tough times don’t last, tough people do
- Believe in yourself
- Stay positive
- Build it and they will come (I just love that movie!)
Believe it or not, I have been accused of wearing rose colored glasses during dark times in my life. It’s true. Other people will get upset, and I just kinda let it roll off my back and go on. I always choose to see the positive side of things. It’s in my nature to find the good. But, you don’t have to be like that. You do, however, have to take care of your mind- for your health.
Again, I am not a doctor or a therapist, but here is my short list of things that I feel are important.
ADDRESS YOUR SKELETONS
Seriously, if you have a bunch of bad mojo running through your mind, talk to someone. It usually takes someone else to help unlock the door and push those bad boys OUT. Your mind is desperately sought after real estate, don’t loan it out to some old skeletons that are trying to bring you down.
Too often we forget to celebrate our successes. It’s okay to be proud of something you have done. Remind yourself of all the good pieces that make up YOU. Are you kind to strangers? Are you generous with your time? Do offer to help someone? Do you check in with family? You have good traits. Celebrate them. Expect others to value who are, too.
These are so important. Human beings have a strong desire to connect to others. We like to belong. We want to feel loved and accepted. Not just you, but your friend, your uncle, your neighbor. We should make it a priority to call or visit other people. Check in on them. Social interaction has been proven to help people fight things like stress, isolation and depression. So, call someone. Even better? Laugh with someone.
On the other side of the coin is pulling away. There are times that you need to just let go of everyone and everything and do you. Some people (I am one of them), can go days without talking to another human. It is crucial to who I am. I need to have quiet time for my mind. I can put my phone on the charger and not look at it until the next day. *insert gasp here* I want to walk. I want to hear the birds sing. I want to take a long shower. I want to drink tea out of a pretty cup. I want to paint my own toes. IN QUIET. It’s okay to enjoy solitude, just don’t stay there forever.
HAVE A PURPOSE
This is a tricky one. I am not talking about a career that gives you meaning. I am not referring to the marathon you want to run. And I am totally not talking about your bucket list. Think deep inside of yourself. Who are you and what is your purpose? Me? Oh, I am a fairly princess. Okay, not really, but I want to think like one. I want to bring joy to people. I want to make people smile, feel valued and that they are worthy of greatness. So, I sprinkle joy and happiness everywhere I can. Ask yourself what your true purpose is…Here is a hint, it is probably something you do/feel naturally.
Emotional health is one of the key factors in overall wellness. It is connected to all other aspects of your health. The key is to pay attention to your mind. It will tell you what it needs. You just need to listen.
Here are some links to help you on your emotional health journey.
Address your skeletons: Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
Social connections: How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
Have a purpose: Soul Coaching: 28 Days to Discover Your Authentic Self